Walking into COL, we were greeted by friendly faces and promptly shown to our table, in the middle of the hubbub of action.
Spotting a few vacant seats by the windows, I asked if it would be possible for us to move, and were politely informed that “those seats are reserved for VIPs and media tastings.”
Way to make a gal feel special. Of course, I didn’t mention that I was technically media as well, the kind who pays for meals, and that I was there to review COL.
I just thought it was ironic because the seats remained unoccupied for the next hour at least, until a couple who looked more like they were on a 1st date rather than the “media” were shifted from their smack-in-the-middle-of-the-restaurant seats to the window seats.
But no big deal, we were there for a relatively quick dinner anyway, and the service remained friendly through it all.
COL bills itself as a neigbourhood restaurant and bar, with a hint of that East London style. Located at The Working Capital building in Keong Saik Road, it’s a buzzy place with lots of beautiful patrons milling around. There are 2 bars to enjoy an aperitif or digestif, and the open kitchen gives all a good view of chef-owner Colin Buchan and team in action. Beckham fans, you might be interested to hear that chef Buchan used to be the private chef of the Beckhams.
On to the menu at COL:
The menu sounded promising, featuring interesting east-meets-west flavour combos, such as Nduja Arancini with muhammara and Scallops with seaweed butter, marmalade and shiso leaves.
The starters, in particular, were compelling so we decided to go with 3 to share and a main after.
We generally can’t resist a Burrata ($28) so, of course, selected the one at COL that came with pumpkin puree, walnuts and pumpkin-seed gremolata. It was a good combination of flavours and textures, sweet, creamy with a little crunch, here and there.
Arancini are another favourite of mine, so on to the aforementioned nduja version with muhammara. Considering the price tag of $18, we were a little disappointed to see just 3 balls, but taste-wise, no complaints.
I almost wanted to order the other arancini on offer, the truffle version but we selected the Wood-fired Bread ($22) with whipped feta, pistachios, chili, lemon and coriander instead.
Turned out to be a good choice, you could taste the kiss of the wood-fire on the warm bread and the feta dip was delicious.
Sticking to the wood-fired options, we tried the BBQ Hispi cabbage with XO sauce ($22). This was a winner, again, the wonders of wood-fire cooking.
On to our mains, we went with the Hand-rolled Tagliatelle ($34) with Scottish mussels and chili butter. We were slightly confounded by this dish. Frankly, it tasted like some Asian noodles with black pepper sauce, and the mussels were rather miserly. There were just a few morsels hiding deep within the dish.
Well, thanks to the sourdough expanding in our stomach by that time, we couldn’t finish the pasta and took it back home, and skipped dessert.
I would say that judging by the success of the wood-fired dishes, perhaps a good option would be to focus on their fired-cooked meat, seafood and vegetables, should you visit COL.
Address: 1 Keong Saik Road #01-05, Singapore 089109, The Working Capitol Building
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, WhatsApp +65 9019 4848
Tuesday – Saturday
Bar: From 6pm
Restaurant: From 6pm